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Hand washing is an important way to reduce the spread of infectious diseases. Germs from human and animal sources can be transmitted to hands, which can transmit the germs to other people, foods, and anything else that the hands touch. Proper hand washing can reduce the numbers of harmful microorganisms on our hands and reduce the risk of some diseases.
Wash your hands before:
Eating or drinking
Handling or preparing foods
Touching serving utensils
Wash your hands after:
Visiting the restroom
Covering your nose or mouth when you cough or sneeze
Gardening or working outdoors
Handling pets and their waste
Working with raw foods
Changing baby diapers
• Doing other activities that dirty your hands
This document is FCS8785-Eng, one of a series of the Family Youth and Community Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date February 2006. Revised December 2008. Reviewed October 2014. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.
Amy Simonne, Ph.D., assistant professor, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.
The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.
U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.